Oshkosh Correctional Employee Arrested for Sexual Contact with Inmate
A 38-year-old employee of Oshkosh Correctional Institution was arrested on July 18 and charged with second-degree sexual assault by correctional staff and two counts of delivering illegal articles to an inmate.
An informant told authorities that April L. Paulsen was involved in a sexual relationship with an inmate. This led to an investigation by prison security officials and Oshkosh police, which began on May 11 – only 40 days after Paulsen began working at the correctional facility. Both she and the inmate were working in the kitchen at the prison.
During the investigation, authorities discovered several sexual letters written by Paulsen to the inmate, along with multiple printed photographs of the woman nude or in lingerie. According to the criminal complaint, prison security also transcribed several conversations which were “sexual in nature” between Paulsen and the inmate.
Other Issues with Abuse at Wisconsin Correctional Facilities
This case is not the only instance of abuse complaints in Wisconsin state correctional facilities. Investigations into abuse at juvenile facilities have prompted federal lawsuits and employees of the Oakhill Correctional Institution in Fitchburg have also been charged with sexual assault in cases involving inmates. The Wisconsin DOC also failed to investigate a report of sexual assault filed by an employee who said a co-worker assaulted her at a work event.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Sexual Assault by Prison and Jail Staff
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com helps survivors of institutional sexual assault find justice and support in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked Brian to share some information regarding the legal rights of those who have been sexually abused as inmates by jail staff members:
In sexual assault cases, it’s extremely common for the perpetrators to be in positions of power over their victims. We regularly see this in cases involving correctional facility employees sexually assaulting inmates. In most states, any sexual contact between these two parties is illegal and may be considered sexual assault. When a correctional facility employee abuses an inmate, the inmate may have grounds for a lawsuit – especially when the facility’s negligence played a role in the abuse.
For example, a correctional facility might be considered liable if they ignored complaints of sexual misconduct against staff members or if they hired an employee with a history of sexual misconduct.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted in a correctional facility, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual abuse survivors attorney.